LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is the first hospital in Arkansas to receive the gold certification from Cribs for Kids for its commitment to reducing infant sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), through best safety practices, community outreach and education.
UAMS is one of 44 hospitals in the nation with the designation, the highest of three from Cribs for Kids, a national organization dedicated to infant sleep-related death prevention.
UAMS garnered the designation by adopting a safe sleep policy, including using and promoting wearable blankets, a safe alternative to traditional infant blankets; training staff and educating parents on safe sleep practices in the hospital and at home; conducting community outreach activities; and providing safe sleep alternatives to at-risk parents in the community.
“As Arkansas’ academic health center, we have an obligation to all our communities to model safe sleep and promote those practices throughout the state,” said Rebecca Sartini, clinical services manager in the UAMS Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, there are about 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths each year, including about 1,500 deaths caused by SIDS.
“Recent data consistently show many more babies die as a result of SIDS than all other causes combined, including car accidents. Safe sleep will help prevent most of those deaths,” said R. Whit Hall, M.D., a neonatologist and professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. “This is a wonderful step by UAMS to lead the state in promoting safe sleep practices and educating parents so more babies will be able to celebrate their first birthday.”
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.